In the movie The dinner of idiots, directed by Francis Veber, François Pignon, played by Jacques Villeret, is invited by the famous publisher Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) who thinks he has landed with him the best specimen of con. “When you show people someone like Villeret in The stupid dinner, they may be reassured and say to themselves: ‘Me, I’m flying a little above …’ ” said the filmmaker to the magazine “8:30 p.m. on Saturday” (replay).
In this feature film, released in 1998, also starring Francis Huster and Jacques Prévost, the cult scene in which Brochant tells Pignon that he is going to phone the writer named Juste Leblanc. “Oh, he doesn’t have a first name?” asks Pignon. “I just told you, Juste Leblanc. Leblanc is his name and it’s Just his first name. Your first name is François, is it right? Well him, it’s the same, it’s just”, retorts Brochant dryly to Pignon, which did not really hit …
“I was pretentious and pedantic”
Jean-François Marion, psychologist and historian by training, directed a trilogy on bullshit at Editions Sciences Sociales (Psychology of bullshit ; Universal history of bullshit ; Psychology of bullshit in politics). This fine connoisseur claims to be a “connologue”. According to him, it is “someone who studies human bullshit, in others and also in himself”. He analyzes the two main characters: “François Pignon in The dinner of idiots is a naive jerk. And Pierre Brochant has his own bullshit because he is contemptuous and wants to manipulate people, have fun with them. “
The dinners of idiots really existed… before the film. “It is indeed a nasty idea, but I am not the one who invented the game”, defends Francis Veber. At the end of the 1980s, in the private Parisian club-restaurant Castel, each participant had to bring back a somewhat … quirky guest. And the filmmaker himself would have been trapped: “One evening, I was invited and I was made to talk about the construction of a scenario, he remembers. And there, I am inexhaustible… I was pretentious and pedantic. I told myself that they all had a small smile. Then, as I walked out, I asked myself: ‘Wasn’t I the jerk at that table?’ “
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